Bonnie Buckley Maldonado, Inaugural Silver City Poet Laureate and WNMU Professor Emeritus, reads from her new memoir, The Secret Lives of Us Kids: A Childhood Memoir 1941–1942, on Sunday, January 25 at 3:00pm in the WNMU Miller Library. The public is invited to attend, free of charge. Refreshments will be served.
This event is sponsored by the WNMU Miller Library, the JW McPherson Society of the Arts, and the Southwest Festival of the Written Word.
In The Secret Lives of Us Kids: A Childhood Memoir 1941–1942, Maldonado draws on her award-winning mastery of poetry to reconstruct a childhood fraught with uncertainty and difficulty on the northern Montana oilfields. Her verses invite readers into her family’s small shack where they survived some of America’s most dire times.
While fifteen black-and-white photographs show a happy, smiling family, a different story was unfolding behind the pictures. Evicted from the family ranch during the Depression, the Buckleys made a hard living tending the oilfield. Between their father’s alcoholism and their mother’s suicide threats, the four children struggled to keep the family going when their parents could not.
Written in collaboration with Maldonado’s older brother Patrick F. Buckley, the book’s fifty poems tell of finding love and hope in a harsh and hopeless situation, giving a voice to those were most affected by the turbulence. “It is our story, the kids’ story,” Maldonado writes. “I have lived a long life with the darkness. It is time to set it free.”
The hardships and simple pleasures told by Maldonado and her brother will resound with readers of childhood memoirs, Western history, and poetry alike.
For more information about Bonnie Buckley Maldonado, visit her website at www.bonniebuckleymaldonado.com Also visit the Southwest Festival of the Written Word website for more information on current literary events in the area and the 2015 Festival coming October 2-4, 2015 in Silver City NM. www.swwordfiesta.org